Exhibitions & Events



Lost Prairie Valley

Planetary Bayou

Field Guide to Environmental Crime: Houston and the Oil Coast

Dead Zones

Extinction Simulation Landscapes

Lunar Mosaics

MacDowell Trilogy

Humans Lived Here Once

Whole Life Academy

Comfort in Hydrology

Uncanny Sensing, Remote Valleys

Water Castle

Radio Aporee Sound Map

Midstream at Twilight



Forest Threnody

Big Hill Petro-glyphs

Current State

Points of Presence

Brandenburg Series

Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Sonic Boom Archive

Johnston Island Saturday Night

Suspension of Disbelief

Quantum Danube


Culpeper Media Bunker

A Doubting World

“... the floors of silent seas”

Background Listening Post

Regional Spatialities

Dark Places

Ultimate High Ground

American Oil Vol. I

Kleine Stücke von Berlin


Playas Townsite

Shepard Inversion Ghost


Shock + Awe

Gloom & Doom / Tactile Air

Routes of Least


Weather Radio

Site: Nonsite: Quartzsite

The Mountain Radio Project

Ballarat: Beneath Sentinel

CLUI Projects

Networked Nation


Urban Crude

CLUI Touchscreen

Texas Oil

Wendover, U.S.A.

CLUI Exhibit Posters

Pavement Paradise

Vacation: Dauphin

Dissipation & Disintegration

Terminal Island

Immersed Remains

Diversions & Dislocations

Emergency State

Loop Feedback Loop

A View into the Pipe

Ground Up

Nellis Range - Revisited

West Coast Points

The Best Dead Mall


Antarctic 1

One Wilshire

Alternate Routes

Proximity Issue

Back to the Bay

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© 2024 Steve Rowell


Steve Rowell

Forest Threnody


Forest Threnody was a collaboration with composer-activist Yii Kah Hoe (Borneo, Malaysia) and performance at the Garrison Theater, Scripps College, Claremont on November 1, 2015.

The composition, part of my visiting professor position at Scripps College, is intended to draw attention to the catastrophic environmental destruction in South East Asia, particularly on Borneo. My contribution was a single-channel video and two-channel sound work which was mixed, live, into the choir performance. The video was culled from hundreds of miles of satellite imagery swaths of the rainforests and palm plantations of Borneo island. The audio drone was generated from the visual data of the satellite imagery using a custom-built software patch for MAX. The treetops of rainforests appear as irregular shapes, palm plantations as dotted grids, waste ponds as blotches, roads and canals as lines cutting through the forest floor. Each of these visual shapes, moving vertically, triggered different tones. The software autonomously created a sonic impression of the disturbed, post-natural landscape – chopped down, burned, cleared, terraformed, exploited, wasted. The experience of viewing and listening creates a sense of both ease and unease with the drone modulating between harmonious and dissonant, both reflecting and contrasting the scrolling visual impression of the ground below. This work compresses the distance between the orbiting satellite camera with the landscape on Earth, annihilating the space and time between the viewer and the environmental crisis occurring at this very moment.

Steve Rowell and Yii Kah Hoe
Awakening to the Environment
November 1, 2015 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Garrison Theater, Scripps College, Claremont

Yii Kah Hoe, composer
Steve Rowell, video/drone
Stacey Fraser, soprano
Anne Harley, soprano
Robert Seaback, software programmer
The Claremont Concert Choir
Commissioned by Environlab Asia.